Tagged: scraping

Free school Ofsted ratings

Opening up Ofsted data on free schools – part three

A completely overhauled front-end (HTML, CSS, JavaScript/D3)

I’ve written previously about the scraper I’ve produced, which grabs Ofsted inspection ratings for open and closed free schools. (See here for a blogpost on the Python back-end, and here for a blogpost on the original front-end.)

Briefly, my reason for doing this was that there’s no easy way to get up-to-date Ofsted ratings for a particular group of schools, such as free schools. And in the absence of a track record of exam results by which to judge the new schools, Ofsted ratings offer one of the few ways we have of assessing how they’re performing.

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Opening up Ofsted data on free schools – part two

Updated, 9 May 2015: See bottom of the post for the changes.

This is part two of a pair series of blogposts about scraping free school inspection ratings from the Ofsted website. Part one can be found here. All posts can be found here.

I finished the last blogpost having scraped the Ofsted ratings with Python, using Scraperwiki to turn the data into a JSON API. So, what to do with the output of my scraper?

Well, my ambitions were fairly modest as far as presenting or visualising the data went. For now at least, all I wanted to produce was a basic table of all inspection ratings. Importantly though, it had to update automatically as new schools were inspected and additional ratings came through.

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Opening up Ofsted data on free schools – part one

Free school Ofsted ratings - EFS website

Updated, 9 May 2015: See bottom of the post for the changes.

One of the projects I’ve spent quite a bit of time working on over the past year has been the specialist free schools news site I co-founded, EverythingFreeSchools [NB: as of September 2014 this site is no longer live. The free school Ofsted ratings resource I’ve developed can now be found here.] 

The site has performed well, building a regular readership of people with an interest in the policy. And besides the news stories the site has broken, one thing that has proved popular are data resources – such as this look at how many teachers without Qualified Teacher Status each free school used.

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Flooding in south London, police misconduct charges and … Obama’s bunny ears

Another short post, just to link to some things I’ve done in the last two weeks – spent working with the digital news team of the Times and Sunday Times.

Much of my time was spent on a number of longer-term data journalism projects which – until publication – I won’t be posting about.

Needless to say, though, heavy use was The Times masthead smallmade of Google Fusion Tables and ScraperWiki, as well as
healthy amounts of Excel. The fortnight Sunday Times masthead smallgave me the best reason I’ve had to date to experiment with scraping, so that was a really good thing.

I also wrote a number of online news stories, ranging from the serious to the thoroughly silly season. Links to most of the articles I wrote here:

Police officers face charges over strip-search of woman

Basketball team’s prank puts ‘bunny ears’ on the President

Teenagers arrested after ‘swan-nabbing’

Streets in Herne Hill, South London, under water after main bursts

British volunteer women teachers hurt in acid attack in Zanzibar

All behind the great paywall of Wapping, but the first three paragraphs are yours for nothing.